Chalky Mount Potteries
Chalky Mount, Barbados
The beautiful craftsmanship created by skillful hands at chalky mount potteries is an exceptional way to cherish a memory that is both beautiful and a unique part of Barbados. On the eastern coast of Barbados, in the scenic parish of St Andrew, nestled on the rugged hillside is the Scotland District. The area is well known for its clay earth that possesses a distinct red colour. The colour is unique to the district and the clay has properties so rare it is also exported around the world. For generations, a resourceful and gifted family have made a legacy as artisans in Pottery. Artistically crafting pieces day after day with such skill and elegance. Chalky Mount potteries is a small workspace with an adjoining shop, that sits elevated overlooking the east coast’s lush greenery and the blue ocean.
The workshop is filled with potter’s wheels, kilns and various other equipment where potters with their hands, imagination and creativity carefully sculpt and mould the clay into whatever their hearts desire. The workshop is open to all who may be curious and eager to observe the meticulous process the clay undergoes to turn it from malleable earth into wonderful pieces of art. You can watch as the owner in a guided tutorial, thoroughly details each step of working the clay.
Mr John Springer, a fifth-generation potter, is lovingly keeping his family's livelihood and beautiful legacy alive each time his hands tenderly caress the willing clay and commands it to take form into something usable or simply charming. Hand making pottery is a very special art that dates back hundreds of years, practising this rare art is a direct connection to the past and a reminder that some things should never change and can remain useful throughout time. Mr Springer speaks fondly of his work, his love and passion are reflected in the way he gracefully walks visitors through his routine, how he prepares the clay, moulds it and then bakes it before its final touches are added.
He speaks of the various techniques and equipment used, how they have improved over time, their uses and his families work which spans many years. A selection of the wide range of pottery pieces that have been handcrafted within the workshop by Mr Springer and other potters are displayed in the shop so that you can observe the final products and make your purchases. Pots, jars, mugs, cups, plates, vases and many other ornaments; are decorated, painted and on exhibit. It is a pleasing sight, and a great experience to witness the raw beauty of the clay transformed into a souvenir that will end up in the most interesting places with people who are equally as interesting. Chalky Mount potteries is a place of transformation which teaches us the importance of knowing our individual histories and how we are connected to the past; It reminds us that simple things can have great value and even the most ordinary things have the potential to become extraordinary with the right amount of skill, patience and love.